The limited post school opportunities for learners with special education needs was highlighted at a recent visit to the Western Cape by Professor Faith Bischof, Vice Chairperson of the National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy (NAPCP).

The NAPCP is currently undertaking a “Roadshow” in all the provinces in SA and Professor Faith Bischof, hosted for her visit to the Western Cape by the Western Cape Cerebral Palsy Association (WCCPA) earlier this month.

Jo Kidd, Occupational Therapist at the WCCPA highlighted the limited post school opportunities for learners with special education needs who attend LSEN Schools (Schools for Learners with Special Educational Needs).  She noted that while post school opportunities for further studies and employment in the open labour market are options, very few learners at LSEN schools are able to access these. The majority of the learners from LSEN schools require either skills training, supported employment, access to protective workshops or occupational day programmes. Protective workshops provide skills training, adapted work tasks and psychosocial support while occupational day programmes provide opportunities for socialisation and involvement in meaningful occupational activities.

The majority of school leavers with disabilities do not however access the existing protective workshops and Occupational Day Programmes and are generally relegated to their family homes after spending between 10 and 12 years in the school system. School leavers with disabilities who remain at home can experience social isolation which often leads to further disability. They are also exposed to security risks as they are often at home alone without care when family members are working.

With the academic year coming to an end many parents of school leavers from LSEN schools will be faced with the challenge of what their children will do having ended their school career. The WCCPA invites all parents of school leavers from LSEN schools who require assistance with placements of their children for 2019 to contact Jo Kidd (Occupational Therapist) on 021 683 1300 or Fezeka Ziswana (Social Worker) on 021 6854150.